November 7th, 2013, 10am

At Coquelicot des Abbesses in Montemarte, they serve you literal bowls of black coffee with your half slice of baguette in the morning. (Jam and honey pots, complimentary.)

Before I left the south, I was given a book written by a woman who used to live in the same house where I sometimes work. It’s a fictionalized account of her years there, and she describes the town, it’s history, and the surrounding territory in loving, careful detail. After reading it, I know so much more about that village I lived in. It makes me laugh out loud. The things that went on! Picasso refusing to build his house in a place from where he could see, across the border, to Dali’s. The local newsstand and its treacherous gossip. (I bought the paper there, myself, every weekend.)


“The fountain head is a carved stone lion, which, when the town was Spanish, used to look south towards Spain. During the seventeenth century, when it became French, they took the lion’s head off and turned it to face France. One year, during the feria, there was a fight over it, and a group of men from Barcelona tried to wrench it round again. The manager of the pizzeria found it in the gutter on Monday morning and took it to the mairie — the town hall — where it now sits in the in-tray of an idle councillor.”

I know this is true because I’ve seen it.

Ian, Adrian, Paul, Kristen and 18 others said thanks.

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Cassie Marketos

Community Manager at Hi. Traveling. Writing! Will send invites generously. Just ping @sayhi.

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